As we wrap up our winter wear, it is dreadful to look at those light, vibrant, short summer cloths that we know will shamelessly reveal the aftermath of all that winter-season gorging. There's no denying that most of us easily put on a few kilos during the colder months; our excuse being the chilly cold weather, where we like the comfort of snuggling and cozying up inside our mammoth blanket, and of course, munching crispy, oil laden comfort foods. And not to forget the zillions cups of tea and coffee to keep warm from within. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the truth is soon to be out. You can strategically wear layers and tunics or flares to cover up that bulging midriff but, your arms will show it all. Yes, summer is almost here.
But fret not, let us all get the confidence to show off those racer back tops and off-shoulder dresses with full might. This piece targets one of the most problematic areas in the human body. These exercises for the arms show you how you can tone them up without going to the gym or investing in expensive machines.
Tone Up: Losing weight is a battle, but filling up the gap made by the lost fat by developing muscles is a different ballgame altogether. Cardio helps you burn calories and makes you lose flab. You then see your weighing scale showing you lesser readings, but cardio alone will not make you look tight, yes, we are talking about those defined curves and sharp edges that almost look sculpted. You then need to resort to strength training using body weight technique or weight training.
Unfortunately, flabby or lose arms is a common problem among most women. You look thin and lean but feel a slight dangle of fat on the upper arm portion. Losing arm fat is not that easy as it may seem as it involves taming and toning up of nine different complex muscles including the triceps, biceps and shoulder muscles.
If arm fat is the cause of concern for you, we bring some of easiest ways to get your arms in shape. Ditch the gym and forget about starting with a 2-kg dumbbell as these inexpensive tricks will help you get the arms you have always dreamt of. These are a classic example of how one can use your body weight against your body and shed fat.
Are you ready?
1. Planks: These might look easy but are grueling on your arms in reality. Start by mastering a standard plank position by beginning with 30 seconds and amping it up to three minutes or more. Once you think you are getting comfortable with the regular planks and are able to hold it for longer, try improvising the exercise. There are multiple ways in which a standard plank position can be topped up with further extensions to achieve better results. Some of them would include:
Plank Arm Row and Rotate: For this, get into a standard push up position, now take your hand back as if nudging somebody at the back. Follow this by raising yourself laterally towards the sky and twisting your body sideways. Repeat 10 times, two sets on both hands.
Pilates Press: Again, for this you need to come into the standard push up position. Bend your knee 90 degrees ensuring that your toe points upwards. At the same time come down a little as if trying to do a push up, press back up again and repeat with the other leg. eight reps, two sets on both sides.
Other Positions: There are a couple of exercises that are my personal favourites and work wonders for your arms, shoulders, chest and back. For the first one, come into a plank position bringing your hands together and clasping them tight. Now, move your body forward and back to the original position. Repeat for at least eight times, two sets.
You can also try another exercise for which you need to come into a standard plank position. Now, get into a standard push up position by lifting up one hand, then the next; go back in to the plank position, with one hand at a time. Repeat 10 times, two sets.
2. Yoga: There's no denying the fact that yoga is an excellent way to strengthen your muscles, improve flexibility, relax and tone up. A set of asanas that will help you achieve those rock solid arms would include:
Side Planks (Vasisthasana)
Downward facing dog pose
Upward Dog Pose
3. Push-ups and the cousin: One of the best ways to lose arm fat is to master push-ups. It will take time but be at it and just don't give up. Girl's style push-ups are fairly easy to pull-off, but don't be stuck with it, rather take those knees off the ground, be at your toes and try doing the standard push-ups. With every increased count, you know that you are increasing your strength, muscle tone and saying goodbye to that flab. Once your arms and shoulders are strong enough, you can also try your hands on pull-ups for those killer shoulders, back and wings.
4. Swimming: Have you ever seen professional swimmers? Don't they have perfectly sculpted bodies? Swimming is best for overall weight-loss. If you are religiously following a balanced diet - trimming out those processed and fattening items - then swimming on a regular basis can help you achieve a perfectly shaped body. Since your legs and hands are the heroes of the act, be sure to experience significant power building in these areas of your body.
5. Others: There are many other ways you can exercises your arms and the adjoining areas right in the comfort of your house. Get a resistance band and train with it.
Stand on the band with your legs apart at the shoulder level. Now, grab the other end of the band with both arms and do a bicep curl. You can also hold the band - wide or closer - with both hands and placing your hands right in front of you, start pulling apart your arms wider, stretching the band and feeling the resistance.
Arm Exercises: Some of the most basic ones would include arm circles, wherein you stand with your arms wide open and move them in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction with stiff arms. You can then face your palm in front, with arms wide open and push your arms forward. Similarly, repeat the same with your palms faced backwards, upwards and downwards. Now, fold your arms to ninety degree so as your fingertips face upwards and palms towards your face and push your palms inwards in small movements, repeat with your palm faced outwards. Repeat all - 10 counts, 3 sets.
You can also try the classic triceps dips.
So, what are you waiting for? You are just a few moves away from those enviable arms.